28 May 7 steps to include in your morning ritual that will help you enjoy happiness all day
via the Ladders by Eric Barker
We read a lot about this or that morning ritual that will make you productive. But what about one that makes you happy?
Research shows that being happy actually makes you more productive. So let’s kill two birds with one stone and focus on smiles.
What’s the first step? Here’s a little secret: happy mornings don’t start in the morning…
1) Have Something To Look Forward To
Happy mornings start the night before. Make sure before you go to bed you have something to look forward to tomorrow.
Research shows anticipation is a powerful happiness booster. It’s 2 for the price of 1: You get the good thing and you get happy in anticipation of the good thing.
Got nothing you’re looking forward to? Schedule lunch with a friend or promise yourself you’ll do something you enjoy. It’s one of the secrets of the happiest people in the world.
People prone to joyful anticipation, skilled at obtaining pleasure from looking forward and imagining future happy events, are especially likely to be optimistic and to experience intense emotions.
(To learn how to be happier and more successful, click here.)
Okay, you’ve got something you’re anticipating planned for the next day. Now what do you actually do first thing in the morning?
2) Manage Your Mood
Research shows your mood in the morning affects your mood for the rest of the day:
“We saw that employees could get into these negative spirals where they started the day in a bad mood and just got worse over the course of the day,” said Steffanie Wilk, associate professor of management and human resources at Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business.
What makes you happy early in the day? Do that.
Are you often stressed in the morning? Then ask yourself, “What gives me a feeling of control?”
Anything that increases your perception of control over a situation — whether it actually increases your control or not — can substantially decrease your stress level.
Over and over, scientists see that the perception of control over a stressor alters the stressor’s impact… Amy Arnsten studies the effects of limbic system arousal on prefrontal cortex functioning. She summarized the importance of a sense of control for the brain during an interview filmed at her lab at Yale. “The loss of prefrontal function only occurs when we feel out of control. It’s the prefrontal cortex itself that is determining if we are in control or not. Even if we have the illusion that we are in control, our cognitive functions are preserved.” This perception of being in control is a major driver of behavior.
And don’t check email first thing. Studies show it stresses you out:
A new study released Thursday by the University of California, Irvine, which was co-written with United States Army researchers, found that people who do not look at email on a regular basis at work are less stressed and more productive.
(For more on what the most productive people do every day, click here.)
You’re anticipating something good and you feel in control. Cool. What’s next? Food.
…keep reading the full & original article HERE